March 04, 2021 2 min read
Bees as pollinators plays an essential role in keeping our people and planet healthy. They also give us amazing things like honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and wax. Unfortunately, due to climate change and human activities, these creatures are under threat and in need of our protection.
(Scroll to the bottom for practical ways you can save our Singapore bees!)
Worker bees have four special pairs of glands on the underside of their abdomens. This liquid wax secreted hardens when exposed to air. With the help of their legs, the worker bees then take the wax and chews them until it is pliable and carefully shape them into hexagonal cells that forms the honeycomb.
Honeycombs serves as honey and pollen storage as well as the nest for their brood. It is estimated that bees need to consume 5kg of honey for every 500g of wax secreted!
There are many types of waxes: animal origin, vegetal origin, and mineral origin in the market that are cheaper and faster to produce than beeswax.
This unfortunately means that adulterating beeswax with cheaper alternatives like paraffin has become a common practice. If your wax is too cheap to be true, it probably is!
Beeswax cannot be harvested without first harvesting honey. We source our beeswax from smaller suppliers in Thailand that adopts sustainable beekeeping practices.
Instead of discarding the combs after honey is extracted, thesecombs are placed in water and heated until all the wax is melted. The wax then goes through a filtering process to remove debris. We are careful never to overheat our beeswax as it affects its colour and property.
This is an extremely time consuming and labour intensive process. Unlike refined beeswax, the result of filtered beeswax is a beautiful golden beeswax that has a light honey aroma which varies with the age of the comb and diet of bees.
Did you know that Singapore has over 100 species of bees, which include honey bees, stingless bees, carpenter bees, and many more? The worse thing you can do is to call an exterminator to gas them to death.
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